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Development of a Versatile High-Brightness Electron Impact Ion Source for Nano-Machining, Nano-Imaging and Nano-Analysis

Abstract : High brightness low energy spread (ΔE) ion sources are needed for focused ion beam nano-applications in order to get a high lateral resolution while having sufficiently high ion beam currents to obtain reasonable erosion rates and large secondary electron/ion yields. The objectives of this thesis are: the design of an electron impact ion source, a reduced brightness Br of 10³ – 10⁴ A m⁻² sr⁻ ¹ V⁻ ¹ with an energy distribution spread ΔE ≲ 1 eV and a versatile ion species choice. In a first evaluated concept an electron beam is focussed in between two parallel plates spaced by ≲1 mm. A micron sized ionisation volume is created above an extraction aperture of a few tens of µm. By using a LaB₆ electron emitter and the ionisation region with a pressure around 0.1 mbar, Br is close to 2.10² A m⁻² sr ⁻ ¹ V ⁻ ¹ with source sizes of a few µm, ionic currents of a few nA for Ar⁺/Xe⁺/O₂ ⁺ and the energy spread being ΔE < 0.5 eV. The determined Br value is still below the minimum targeted value and furthermore the main difficulty is that the needed operation pressure for the LaB₆ emitter cannot be achieved across the compact electron column and therefore a prototype has not been constructed. The second evaluated source concept is based on the idea to obtain a high current ion beam having a source size and half-opening beam angle similar to the first concept, but changing the electron gas interaction and the ion collection. Theoretical and experimental studies are used to evaluate the performance of this second source concept and its usefulness for focused ion beam nano-applications.
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Olivier De Castro. Development of a Versatile High-Brightness Electron Impact Ion Source for Nano-Machining, Nano-Imaging and Nano-Analysis. Accelerator Physics [physics.acc-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLS468⟩. ⟨tel-01480952⟩

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